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Graphic Breakdown: Hunting The Caped Cwusader in ‘Batman/Elmer Fudd’ & More!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

I’m so happy to be writing about comics this week and every week! Here are some of the books that came out this Wednesday!

 

Batman / Elmer Fudd  #1
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Lee Weeks

Tom King is not my favorite Batman writer as I constantly say in this column. He’s talented, but he never found his voice in my opinion.

Until maybe now.

The last issue of Batman was excellent and this was one hell of an entertaining read. Honestly, this was unexpected.

So, in this comic book, Elmer Fudd is a hit man. I kid you not.

He has been suckered by “Bugs” to go kill Bruce Wayne. So he tries and then runs afoul of the Batman. Chaos ensues.

The cool thing here is the way King makes it all work. His dialogue is classic Looney Tunes dialogue spun to be real. It actually works and is quite ingenious.

It’s also a compelling story and I give it points for creativity.

The art by Lee Weeks is something else. I love Weeks and anytime he draws something? I’m there. This is a nice new release and a great read.

Good for DC for taking a chance and making comics fun again.

RATING: A

 

The Flash #25
Written By Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico, Neil Googe, Ryan Sook

Another fine issue of The Flash. It’s the start of the second year of Williamson’s run and the start of the “Running Scared” storyline. It’s a good one too. Williamson has done a fine job this year. There were a few stinkers along the way, but overall he’s done great.

In this issue, The Reverse-Flash is back. He is out to destroy Barry’s future. This guy never stops!

This is a battle through time and it’s quite exciting. Williamson knows how to deliver the goods, and he certainly does in this issue. I love the scene where Barry meets a young Thorne. It was surprising, and it gave the whole thing depth.

The art is good in this issue though I am partial to Di Giandomenico’s art above the rest. It’s wonderful and has an energy to it that I love.

Pick this up. It’s a good book in a fine series.

RATING: B+

 

Astro City #45   
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by Brent Eric Anderson

It’s good to see Brent Anderson still working. He’s one of the best artists that nobody talks about anymore. His work has always been solid and I’m glad he’s still around. He’s also turning out good work on the series he helped create: Astro City.

This issue is the first part of a two part story called “Who Broke The Broken Man?”

This issue sorts through the counterculture in Astro City like music, art etc. and it’s history. Busiek is really digging deeper than he has in years.

It’s a little tired but it still works well. I enjoyed this issue. Busiek and Anderson are also a great creative team. They know how to make a comic book work.

You may not be able to pick it up if you’ve never read Astro City before, but for those of us who have, it’s a nice trip back into the city that we love.

RATING: B

 

Supergirl: Being Super #4
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Joelle Jones

This has been a sweet mini series. I will even venture to call it a classic. Tamaki was made to write Supergirl and this was just plain awesome. It’s a great take on a classic hero we have not seen before.

First of all, the cover is gorgeous. Joelle Jones did such an amazing job on it. Honestly, it’s hard for me to think about anyone else’s version of Supergirl after seeing her drawings.

Then there’s the story. Tamaki explores what makes Supergirl “Super.” She does it in a way that is good for all audiences and all ages. This is Supergirl at her most heroic and it works wonderfully.

Tamaki and Jones are a spectacular creative team. I hope they have more Supergirl stories in them.

Or, maybe they can work together on another hero…

Say Batgirl maybe?

They are damn good. And this series was damn good. Recommended.

RATING: A

 

Batman/The Shadow #3   
Written by Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo

I cannot get enough of Riley Rossmo’s rendition of The Shadow. Holy God, put him on a Shadow book immediately.

He does such a great job drawing the character. He does a great Batman as well,  and on the art duties in general. His Shadow though is something we have not seen before.

This book is just damn cool. Snyder and Orlando have a blast writing this. They add the Joker into this story and it just makes the whole thing even more bananas. That’s a good thing.

The Joker has been offered incredible power for Stag to kill Batman. Oh course, The Joker is in for that! So, it becomes up to the Shadow to help protect the Batman.

Fun ensues.

And fun it is! This is a well done, well drawn series. It makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to make a series like this (The Shadow appeared in a Batman book years back but it sucked)

They just work naturally well together. I can’t wait to read the rest!

RATING: A-

 

Kamandi Challenge #6 
Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Phillip Tan

This nutty concept of taking a story with Kamandi and having different creators make an issue based off last month’s cliffhanger by another creative team has been awesome! It has been little jarring, but that’s part of the experiment. Kudos to DC for having the guts to take this on.

In this issue it’s the always fun Steve Orlando on the writing and the nutty art of Phillip Tan. It works great. This issue takes Kamandi to post apocalyptic Russia. Kamandi is tasked with saving the city. It’s out of it’s mind and I love it.

I have no idea what to expect from this series each month.

Last month had a huge cliffhanger that I didn’t see coming.

This one does too. It’s a testament to the strength of the concept of this title.

The story is good in this. The art is really great too. There is a splash page right in the beginning that shows Kamandi with his guts ripped out. It was hard to look at. I say that as a jaded American too.  A good job goes out to Tan for making that work.

Where will this go next month? I have no idea. But I look forward to reading it.

RATING: B+

 

Suicide Squad #20
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Eddy Barrows

Eddy Barrows does the art on this issue and all is right in the world. This is a comic book that is out of it’s mind from month to month. Sometimes, it’s a train wreck. Other times, it’s a bigger train wreck. Sometimes, it’s actually decent. I never know what to expect and I have come to expect only okay. This issue is one of the one that is semi-decent.

Rob Williams is a talented guy that hasn’t learned how to jive with his artists. He does better with Eddy Barrows here than he did ever did with Tony Daniel or Jim Lee.

This issue focuses on the need for a leader for the Suicide Squad. The choices here are slim pickings. Williams makes the quest fun and lively and tongue in cheek.

Also it seems Harley Quinn has lost it. How will the Suicide Squad deal with a Harley who is off the rails?

Eddy Barrows does a great job illustrating this book. It’s great storytelling through and through. His work is fluid and gorgeous to look at. The story is wacky but he grounds it. Pick this up. It’s decent book and you will like something in it, even if it’s just the art.

RATING: B

 

Detective Comics #959
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez

This is the second part of a storyline involving Azrael. I have never been a huge Azrael fan as previously stated, but Tynion has a good take on him that actually works. Azrael has always been silly to me and now I’m invested in him as a character.

Batman’s team comes to grips with Azrael’s past while Batman tracks down Zatanna. He needs her help to figure out the secret he learned at the end of last month’s storyline “The Button.”

What he learned sent him reeling.

I love that DC didn’t just have that storyline and then decide to throw it away.

They actually made the entire thing organic and flow into the monthly titles. It’s a good move and it makes everything much more compelling.

The art by Martinez is decent. He’s not my favorite artist but he is decent enough. I wish we had someone stronger (like an Eddy Barrows who used to draw this).

Still, it’s a compelling comic book. Give it a read.

RATING: B

 

Batman Beyond #9
Written by Dan Jurgens 
Illustrated by Bernard Chang

This has been a consistent bright spot in the DC line.

And why not? Good stories. Strong artwork. Nostaglia. All of this and more is featured each month in Batman Beyond!

Terry is in trouble. He needs help. Who can come to his rescue?

One person.

Who is this one person?

It’s Bruce Wayne. But can an elderly Bruce do it? Can he help out his young apprentice?

Terry is fighting Ra’s Al Ghul in a new bat suit and it may not be enough.   Jurgens makes the struggle Terry is facing strong. He also makes the struggle Bruce is facing powerful as well.

The writing makes us care for each character and keeps us on our toes. The race is on and Jurgens makes it awesome.

Chang is doing top of the line work on this title.

Overall, it’s a good book that has a clean, smart storyline. Pick it up. I’m enjoying it.

RATING: B

 

Mother Panic #8
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by John Paul Leon

I have enjoyed the writing on this title very much. The art however has been all over the place. It hasn’t been bad but it’s been inconsistent, especially for a title just starting out. As such, it’s been hard to get into. It’s worth the effort, but it is certainly a challenge.

Mother Panic is hunting down a murderer in this issue. Yet, is she equipped to pull of the job?

Things don’t look to be in her favor. She’s impulsive and has a ton of anger in her.

Houser shows us her inner struggle and the challenges she faces within. It’s powerful to read.

The art takes some getting used to. Leon has never been my favorite. He isn’t bad but I always found his art to be septic. It’s very polarizing and it doesn’t help my earlier points.

This is a good book that needs a look. I hope they find it soon. I’ll still read it, but I think it would help it immensely.

RATING: B-

 

Lucifer #19
Written by Richard Kadrey
Illustrated by Lee Garbett

I keep telling myself month after month I need to start reading this title from the beginning.

So this month, I will. I’m going to go back and read this from the beginning. Kadrey’s writing seems to demand it and I will give it it’s due.

Lucifer sets up his final confrontation with The Presence in this issue. It’s all been building up to this and it’s fairly awesome to see what happens.

It seems like a pretty complete issue. Is this series ending? Nobody seems to know. I am sure we will find out.

This issue does mark the end of Garbett’s run drawing the book. He is a solid artist and he has done great work from what I can see.

I will be reading this from number one in the coming weeks.

The work is strong. I want to see their complete picture. That’s all due to the talent behind the book.

RATING: B+

 

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